New HoMER Podcast Series: Episode 1

The HoMER podcast is an opportunity for HoMERites to hear from members of the research group about their current research, their experiences of cinemagoing and all matters regarding exhibition and reception. Each month, there will be new interviews with HoMERites from around the world discussing their work.

In episode 1, Pete Turner has conversations with three members of HoMER. Anna Blagrove explains her experiences working with young film programmers through her organisation Reel Connections, Sam Manning tells us about getting back into cinemas after lockdown, and Kate van der Ven discusses the effects that the pandemic has had on screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival.

HoMER Webinar: “Is the Film Projector in the Right Place?” Back Projection as a Regular Practice in Brazilian Movie Theatres of the Silent Era’

The next HoMER webinar will take place on Monday 5 October, 5pm (UK time). Our speaker will be Rafael de Luna Freire (Federal Fluminense University), who will present on ‘”Is the film projector in the right place?” Back projection as a regular practice in Brazilian movie theatres of the silent era’.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom.
The speaker will present a 20-minute paper, followed by discussion and Q&A.
Abstract
There are two basic kinds of film projection. In the case of the classic “cinema situation”, a projector is located at the back of the audience while it projects a film to a reflexive screen in front of the spectators. However, in a different situation, a projector located behind the screen can also project a film to a translucent screen for an audience in the opposite side.
In the US, the back projection – also called “rear-projection” or “background projection” – is a practice considered by film historians only as a now obsolete special effect. However, this presentation will focus on the widespread use of back projection in Brazilian movie theaters for regular film screenings during the silent period. Showing evidence of the use of this system of projection in many movie theaters from different cities of Brazil in the 1910s and 1920s, we will discuss its origins and consequences.
Evidently, we can trace the practice of rear-projection back into the phantasmagoria presentations of late 18th century, for example. Nevertheless, why in Brazil did this system of projection became so widespread, even if film historians, until very recently, have never acknowledged this practice? If in France the “projection par transparence” was a regular practice, our hypotheses is that the influence from French film culture at that time is what explains its adoption in Brazil. However, what were the specific conditions of Brazilian film culture that motivated back projection to become such a common practice in this particular national context? Was it a question of safety? Was it a result of the typical urban organization of lots in Brazilian cities? Finally, what were the consequences of its wide adoption? What changes in the film spectacle may have resulted from the need for a constant (therefore wet) translucent screen? This presentation intends to answer some of these questions.

HoMER Webinar: Memories as Transnational Practices: Interviewing Latin American Women about Cinema-Going during a Pandemic

The next HoMER webinar will take place on Monday 14 September, 5pm (UK time). Our speaker will be Dalila Missero (Oxford Brookes University), who will present on ‘Memories as transnational practices: interviewing Latin American women about cinema-going during a pandemic’
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom.
The speaker will present a 20-minute paper, followed by discussion and Q&A.
 

Abstract

Is it ethical to conduct interviews about leisure and cinema-going during a lock-down? Are there any benefits in switching to on-line and remote interviewing?

In this paper I will reflect on the challenges of conducting qualitative audience research during the COVD-19 pandemic. The topic will be framed in the context of my on-going project “Investigating Cinema Memories and Transnational Practices: A Qualitative Study with Female Latin-American Audiences in Barcelona and Milan”, which is based on a series of in-depth interviews to Latin-American women, focusing on their memories and practices of cinema-going and media consumption, both in the country of origin and the current place of residence. Between April and June 2020 I’ve conducted 14 remote in-depth interviews, while my field-work in Milan and Barcelona has been postponed. The impossibility to establish in-person relationships and being on site has significantly challenged my methodology as well as the angle of my analysis, encouraging a more intimate and analytical approach. By adopting a feminist stand-point, which engages with reflexivity and valorizes women’s experiences as “situated knowledges” (Haraway, 1988), the project now focuses primarily on the exploration of memories as transnational practices, namely as border-crossing experiences. Following Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson’s notion of border-crossing as “knowledge production” (2013), I am testing the potential of the memories of leisure and cinema-going for the everyday negotiation of borders and distance.

Bio

Dalila Missero is a Research Fellow at the School of Arts, at Oxford Brookes University, where she is working on a project on Latin-American women’s media memories. She has received her PhD in Visual, Performing and Media Arts at the University of Bologna and has published essays on gender, sexuality and cinema in the Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies, Feminist Media Histories, About Gender, and The Italianist. In parallel with her new project, she is also completing her first monograph “Italian Women and Cinema: The Making of a Feminist Film Culture” for Edinburgh University Press.

HoMER Webinar: Cinema-Going and the 1918 Flu Pandemic

This panel brings together three historians whose research looks at the impact of the 1918 flu pandemic on cinema-going habits and the operation of cinemas in different national contexts. They will consider the response of cinema exhibitors, how the pandemic was reported in the trade press and the ways that audiences adapted to this crisis.

Each panellist will give a short presentation followed by a discussion and Q&A session. The three panellists are:

Denis Condon (Maynooth University)
Jessica Whitehead (University of Toronto)
Lawrence Napper (King’s College London)

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom.

HoMER Webinar

Date: Monday 3 August, 5pm (UK time)

Speaker: Lior Tibet (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Title: The Irish Film Society and German cinema, 1936-1945

Please use the following link to register for this event:

https://durhamuniversity.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMvfuirrT4jH9d5TaGTkE93UtKyALPndZCo

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Abstract: This paper will look at the Irish Film Society as a case study for the complexity of international reception of German Cinema during the years 1936-1945. During the 1930s, the culturally conservative government of the young Irish state was reluctant to support local film productions and cinema culture. Founded in 1936, the Irish Film Society (IFS) wanted to counter this policy and develop the local film industry, by acquainting its members with artistical and educational films from all over the world, and promoting local film studies. Looking at the screenings and reception of German films in the IFS from 1936-45 will help highlight the importance of cinema as a cultural bridge in a time of war.

In order to reach a better understanding of Irish reception of the German cinema, this paper first reviews the situation of the Irish film industry in the 1930s. It then examines events held by the Irish Film Society during 1936-1945, relying on programmes issued by the IFS to its members correspondence and publications in Irish newspapers on German cinema. Finally, my paper focuses on one of the co-founders of the IFS, Liam O’Laoghaire, and his writing on German cinema in his book Invitation to the Film (1945). By doing so, this paper highlights the importance of local, non-governmental organizations in the reception and influence of German cinema on national cultures outside of Germany.

Upcoming Events

Date: Monday 14 September
Speaker: Dalila Missero (Oxford Brookes University)
Title: Memories as Transnational Practices: Interviewing Latin American Women About Cinema-Going During a Pandemic

Date: Monday 5 October
Speaker: Rafael de Luna Freire (Federal Fluminense University)
Title: Is the Film Projector in the Right Place? Back Projection as a Regular Practice in Brazilian Movie Theatres of the Silent era.

Date: Monday 2 November
Speaker: Maria Velez Serna
Title: Programming the Virtual Community Cinema

Date: Monday 7 December
Speaker: Jessica Whitehead
Title: Comparative Histories of Cinema Audiences

HoMER Webinar

Speaker: Paul Moore (Ryerson University)

Title: ‘When did “Starts Friday!” start? The shift to standardized movie opening days in North America’.

Time: Monday 6 July, 5pm (UK time)

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom.

The speaker will present a 20-minute paper, followed by discussion and Q&A.

Abstract

All contemporary moviegoers know movies start Fridays, including at least forty years of my own personal experience. But when, why and how did this shift to a standardized, national opening begin? In May 1973, Variety reported Fox was “trying to line up other majors to go along with a proposed shift from Wednesday to Friday openings.” Was this a catalyst? Was the shift regional? Gradual? First only for wide-release blockbusters? Did some studios or chains or exchange territories test alternatives? Why was Friday chosen, and what factor was behind the industry-wide adoption of “Starts Friday!” as a tagline for almost all films “in theatres everywhere!” My answers turn to newspaper databases, combined with trade discourse in Variety and other available sources (for these quarantined times!) I will present at least one early case study of a metropolitan region, of a wide release on a continental scale, and word search hits for publicity catch phrases. This surprisingly simple question, “When did Starts Friday start?” has no quick and easy answer, and yet it holds the foundation for any investigation of American movie marketing and distribution and a cornerstone shaping the experience of blockbusters as part of weekends and mass leisure.

 Bio

Paul Moore (psmoore@ryerson.ca) is Professor of Communication and Culture at Ryerson University. His media histories of cinema exhibition and newspaper distribution in North America have focused on the relation between audiences and publicity, appearing in Film History, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, and  The Moving Image. Recent work maps early transnational “circuits of cinema,” also theme of the 2017 International HoMER Conference, which he hosted in Toronto.

HoMER Webinar

The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the normal ways in which cinema historians share and disseminate their research. This webinar, organised in collaboration with the History of Moviegoing, Exhibition and Reception (HoMER) Network is designed for cinema historians to share their research and discuss current debates in the field.

These free events will take place via Zoom at 5pm (UK time) on the first Monday of each month. Speakers will present a 20-minute paper, followed by a discussion and Q&A session.

We welcome proposals from researchers at all career stages, and would particularly like to hear from postgraduates and early career researchers.

If you are interested in presenting at this webinar, or have any further questions, please contact sam.manning@qub.ac.uk or grace.e.stephenson@durham.ac.uk with a title and short proposal (200 words maximum).

HoMER 2020 Postponed

With great sadness, the HoMER 2020 organizing committee has decided to postpone this year’s conference. This decision is made in the light of increasing restrictions to international travel and the closing of educational institutions in Ireland in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused. We hope to run the conference next year in Maynooth but will be in touch again soon when we have had a chance to make more detailed plans.
In the meantime, we wish all the best to our colleagues, their friends and families and hope that you come through this crisis safely.

Registration Open for HoMER 2020: Integrating Traditions, 25-27 May 2020, Maynooth University, Ireland

Registration is now open for the HoMER Network’s 2020 conference, which will take place at Maynooth University, Co. Kildare, Ireland on 25-27 May 2020.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Shelley Stamp (Film + Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz)

Professor Joao Luiz Vieira (Cinema and Audiovisual Studies, Universidade Federal Fluminese, Niterói) 

At HoMER 2019 in Nassau, the conference explored ways of developing a more theoretical and methodological grounding for New Cinema History research. Since emerging as a vibrant field of research in the early 2000s, New Cinema History has sought to distinguish itself from Film History by ‘shift[ing] its focus away from the content of films’, in order to examine cinema as a ‘site of social and cultural exchange’ (Maltby 2011: 3). However, in recent years there have been calls to reconsider the significance of the film itself within New Cinema History research. For the Homer 2020 conference INTEGRATING TRADITIONS, we would like to continue answering that call: as cinema historians, we have traditionally drawn on frameworks and methodologies found in fields such as Social Geography, Economics, and Psychology, but how do we integrate these approaches with those of Film History and Film Studies more broadly? Furthermore, in order to become ‘methodologically more mature’ as a discipline, we must also reflect on how we approach comparative research as an essential part of our studies (Biltereyst and Meers 2016: 25). Several empirical research projects have already used these methods within New Cinema History, comparing the cinema-going experience across cultural and geographical contexts; however, still lacking is the integration of productive methodologies from Film Studies.

The aim of HoMER 2020 is to investigate how the traditional approaches of Film Studies  – as well as those disciplines that have shaped NCH to date – can be productively integrated.

HoMER 2020 CfP – Maynooth University 25-27 May 2020 – EXTENDED DEADLINE

HoMER 2020 CfP, Dublin, 25–27 May 2020

Hosted by Maynooth University

CfP Integrating Traditions 

Extended deadline for proposals, 29 November 2019

Letters of acceptance/rejection, 8 January 2020

 

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Shelley Stamp (Film + Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz)

Professor Joao Luiz Vieira (Cinema and Audiovisual Studies, Universidade Federal Fluminese, Niterói) 

 

The HoMER Network invites submissions for 20-minute papers, as well as designated roundtables, panels, and workshops to be presented at the 2020 conference, which will take place at Maynooth University on 25-27 May 2020.

At HoMER 2019 in Nassau, the conference explored ways of developing a more theoretical and methodological grounding for New Cinema History research. Since emerging as a vibrant field of research in the early 2000s, New Cinema History has sought to distinguish itself from Film History by ‘shift[ing] its focus away from the content of films’, in order to examine cinema as a ‘site of social and cultural exchange’ (Maltby 2011: 3). However, in recent years there have been calls to reconsider the significance of the film itself within New Cinema History research. For the Homer 2020 conference INTEGRATING TRADITIONS, we would like to continue answering that call: as cinema historians, we have traditionally drawn on frameworks and methodologies found in fields such as Social Geography, Economics, and Psychology, but how do we integrate these approaches with those of Film History and Film Studies more broadly? Furthermore, in order to become ‘methodologically more mature’ as a discipline, we must also reflect on how we approach comparative research as an essential part of our studies (Biltereyst and Meers 2016: 25). Several empirical research projects have already used these methods within New Cinema History, comparing the cinema-going experience across cultural and geographical contexts; however, still lacking is the integration of productive methodologies from Film Studies. 

The aim of HoMER 2020 is to investigate how the traditional approaches of Film Studies  – as well as those disciplines that have shaped NCH to date – can be productively integrated. 

 

Possible topics and questions to explore might include (but are certainly not limited to):

 

  1. Film as text. What is the film’s appeal to audiences? When we investigate cinema’s popularity, how do we relate the film’s content to its performance at the box-office? The relationship between cinema memories, film text and social and geographical spaces.
  2. Genre and stardom and their relationship with programming and audiences. How can genre theory enhance our understanding of film reception and programming practices in specific cinemas?
  3. The changing role of gender, however defined, in distribution, exhibition and reception.
  4. Underexplored interdisciplinary possibilities or new historiographical paths. Are there potential connections with leisure or urban studies, for example? Can we use film as a source for investigating a historical period? Can we further engage approaches to the history of everyday life in our research? 
  5. The novelty in New Cinema History. In what does its (continuing)  novelty Iie? What are its methodologies and conceptual frameworks?

 

Presentations are welcome to critically explore the conference theme of INTEGRATING TRADITIONS through the interdisciplinary lens of academic Film and Cinema Studies. 

Since it was first established in 2004, the HoMER network has been instrumental in bringing together researchers working in the New Cinema History tradition and providing opportunities to share knowledge and exchange ideas. In keeping with this, the 2019 HoMER conference featured a series of discussion sessions on specific topics. In light of the positive feedback on these sessions, HoMER 2020 will also feature discussion sessions on each day of the conference. During these sessions, participants will be able to debate research questions and methodologies, with the aim of sharing practices of their research, as well as advancing and developing new ideas in NCH approaches. Last year the three themes were: The geography of cinema; Cinema memories and the archives; Defining contemporary cinema. 

Suggestions for new themes to discuss in HoMER 2020 are welcome.

The format will follow the successful one used last year: presentations of key areas (10 min) to the HoMER participants, followed by small group discussion (1 hour) on the key areas, and a final plenary discussion (20 min). Possible key areas to explore might include (but are certainly not limited to): Cinema and Memory; the Economics and Business of Film; Programming and Film Popularity; Paratextual Analysis; the Digital Challenge; Distribution of Films; Impact of Research to Non-academic Audiences; Publishing New Cinema History Research: Traditional Approaches and the Alternatives.

Abstracts of 250 to 300 words, plus 3 or 4 bibliographic entries, and a 50-word academic biography can be submitted via the HoMER 2020 Abstract Submission Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScDmHvICIqmjlAB6gCoBfJ_yWJpgfOApAqFq-IW2RXUTAriKw/viewform?usp=sf_link

We also invite submissions for poster proposals, particularly from postgrad students (at all levels) and postdoctoral researchers. Accepted posters will be on display for the duration of the conference. Poster proposals can be submitted via the HoMER 2020 Poster Proposal Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdJMAH_oHY4hI1Tv1ImVu-Qmv4J–ZDWXb4u3XyBHKo3KMN8g/viewform?usp=sf_link

For any queries regarding submission, please contact conference co-ordinators, Clara Pafort-Overduin (c.pafort-overduin@uu.nl) and Daniela Treveri Gennari (dtreveri-gennari@brookes.ac.uk). 

 

 

Postgraduate conference accommodation support:

To help support postgraduate students that would like to travel to Maynooth for HoMER 2020, we have provisionally reserved a small number of single college rooms on campus.These single rooms have shared bathroom facilities and will be available to book for approximately €28 per night. As there are a limited number of rooms available, we would appreciate if you could indicate whether you would be potentially interested in availing of this accommodation option during the conference. To request a college room, please contact Sarah Culhane (Sarah.Culhane@mu.ie) by Friday 6th December 2019. We realise that this deadline falls before the date for the issue of acceptance/rejection letters, but your advance expression of interest will help us to plan accordingly ahead of time. Thanks for your co-operation.      

 

Programming Committee:

Clara Pafort Overduin

Daniela Treveri Gennari

Sarah Culhane

Denis Condon

Maya Nedyalkova

Åsa Jernudd

Karina Aveyard

Sam Manning

Kata Szita

Silvia Dibeltulo